Finland allows refunds for dreadful shows

August 2015

Live events sector


A tribunal in Finland has ruled that under-par concerts by established artistes should result in a refund of at least an element of the ticket price by the promoter. The Finnish Consumer Disputes Board is the result of a complaint following a 2013 Chuck Berry concert in Helsinki when the 88-year-old singer was sick and didn’t perform up to par. Berry apologised on stage for his condition during the show. The Board said that the event organizer should refund 50% of the ticket price.
Board chairman Paul Stahlberg told Finnish broadcaster YLE that illness was a justifiable reason to ask for a refund, though a lack of sobriety may not be. “It’s not at all unusual at rock festivals that some artists are high, and that doesn’t even necessarily affect the quality of their performances,” he said.
Its not a matter of taste though:  “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund,” Stahlberg noted. “What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”


The ruling opens the possibility for refunds on everything from circus shows to music festivals, though the criteria used for measuring expectations for each type of event will differ: “There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it have to be evaluated as a whole,” Ståhlberg explained adding “A failed performance by a featured star is a bigger deal for consumers than one by a warm-up band.”

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